Obituaries of the Swannanoa Valley

Floyd Merton “Mert” Cregger

Black Mountain

Floyd Merton “Mert” Cregger, 94, of Black Mountain passed away on Monday, March 28, 2016 at Springmoor Life Care Community in Raleigh, NC.

Mert was born in Merced Falls, CA and attended Chiropractic College and University of Southern California. He proudly served in the US Army, 2nd Infantry Division in WWII and was present at the Battle of the Bulge and fought across Europe. His career with CARE started in Bogota, Colombia, directing the first Peace Corps program; then as Mission Chief in Ankara, Turkey, after which he became Assistant Director of CARE in New York. After leaving CARE he went on to become Director of the Center for Improving Mountain Living at Western Carolina University.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Alta Reese. He is survived by his wife of 74 years, Kathleen Bailey Cregger and brother Gary (Anita) of Fresno, CA, his son Peter (Jane) Cregger of Raleigh, NC, daughter Nancy (William) Langford of Hastings, NE, and daughter, Carolyn Vaughan of Menifee, CA; grandsons, Dennis, Donald (Brandi) and Tom Coggia, William (Barbara) Langford, Joseph (Cindy) Vaughan, James (Elizabeth) Cregger, and granddaughters Susan Langford, Sarah Vaughan, Marian and Julie Cregger, 6 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

Mert was the recipient of many awards including The Governors Award, Western Carolina University Employee of the Year, the Paul Reid Award, and Western Carolina Tomorrow-Committee of 100.

Memorial service was held at Givens Highland Farms in Black Mountain, NC on April 2, 2016 at 1:30 p.m. Family asks that donations be made to CARE.ORG (International Aid Relief Agency). Condolences to the family can be made at

Edward Allison Ray

Black Mountain

Edward Allison Ray, 64, of Black Mountain, NC, passed away Monday, March 7, 2016 at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, GA.

Mr. Ray was a native of Asheville, NC, the son of the late Arlie Ray and Tersia Marie Carson Ray. During his lifetime, he was employed by Advantage Sales and Market for 10 years, and was also an avid collector of rocks and antique coins.

Mr. Ray proudly served his country in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War.

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his wife, Sharon Ray; sister, Roxanne Ray; and son, Joe Gamble.

Survivors include his children, Paul A. Ray of Black Mountain, NC, Kandice Ray of Arden, NC, and Bill Young and wife Lisa of Ridgecrest, NC; brothers, Tommy Ray and wife Kathy of Charlotte, NC, Michael Ray and wife Jackie of Asheville, NC, and David Ray and wife Cindy of Black Mountain, NC; grandchildren, Ashley Ray, Alison Ray, Hannah Young, Bethany Young, Dillon Keever-Ray, Destiny Gamble, and Hope Gamble.

A memorial service was held on Sunday, April 3, 2016, at 3 p.m. in the chapel of Penland Family Funeral Home.

Condolences may be made to the Ray family at